P. Gregory Warden, Southern Methodist University
Michael Thomas, Tufts University


Directors Greg Warden (left) and Michael Thomas (right).

 Opening Report  Final Report

Michael Thomas -- Opening Report:

We have initiated the first study season at Poggio Colla; a season we will use to put into perspective the material excavated over the past eleven years. If there is a unifying word this summer, it is "context." We are especially concerned with the context of the Podere Funghi workshop. With excavation all but finished there (we still have to excavate out one of the kilns), it is time to prepare the material for publication. The first step in this process is the systematic study of the ceramics and tile.

Professor Ann Steiner with students in coarse ware research group.

As part of the field school experience this summer, our students will be involved in the study of this material. Professors Ann Steiner and Gretchen Meyers will lead research groups that investigate respectively the coarse ware and tile from the Podere Funghi. They initiated this work during a two week "preseason," where a number of returning students took on individual research projects before the beginning of the field school. Much progress has already been made, and now, with the help of the field school students, we expect to accomplish much more.

Professor Gretchen Meyers with students in roof tile research group.


Michael Thomas with his student group in the Murlo museum.

Our study of the "context" is not limited to the Podere Funghi. My co-director Greg Warden will lead a group of students in the ongoing study of what we believe is a large votive deposit of bronze. My research group will actually explore the way we plan to communicate the contexts of Poggio Colla. I, along with our architect Jess Galloway, will lead a group of students involved in the exhibition design of Poggio Colla material in the new archaeological museum of the Mugello in Dicomano.

Robert Vander Poppen walks into view of PC 1 during Week 2.


Caitlin Vacanti (center) with students in PC 28 during Week 1.


Ivo van der Graaff overseeing excavation in PC 29 during Week 2.

Our study season will also venture into the field and include limited excavation on the acropolis (field school students alternate between field days and lab days). Robert Vander Poppen will reopen the first trench (PC 1) ever excavated at Poggio Colla with the intention of re-examining the stratigraphy with the hindsight accumulated over 11 seasons of work. He will also excavate previously unexcavated areas of the trench. Caitlin Vacanti will continue to investigate the probable votive context she discovered last year in PC 26. Ivo van der Graaff, who just completed an MA thesis on Etruscan fortifications, will excavate the interior of our fortifications, with the hope of dating their construction.

Left: Illustrator Anne Hooten. Right: Head Conservator Chris White.

We have many significant returning staff members as well as a couple of new ones. Chris White has returned to lead the conservation team. We are also pleased to have Anne Hooton back as our illustrator and Lynn Makowski, who leads our paleo-botanical research. We are looking forward to a visit by Dr. Sara Bon-Harper of the Monticello Department of Archaeology. The early part of our season witnessed the departure of our Operations Manager Emeritus, Larry Lehman, who has left us to teach on a study abroad program. Larry has been a valuable contributor to Poggio Colla and he will be missed. We are very fortunate to have our incoming Operations Manager Jason Doran, who I am confident will successfully fill the void left by Larry's departure.

Operations Managers. Left: Larry Lehman. Right: Jason Doran.

In all we have a great opportunity to take a break from the often frenetic pace of a full excavation season. We will use this time to look at Poggio Colla with many experienced eyes, and a promising set of "fresh" ones. Please take the time to follow our progress--both in the lab and field-- as you explore our website.

Architect Jess Galloway and Director Michael Thomas surveying on Poggio Colla.


Caitlin Vacanti, Ivo van der Graaff, Robert Vander Poppen, and
Michael Thomas discuss progress in the 2006 field season.


Final Report - Director Greg Warden:
Please return to read the report to be posted mid August!


Far left: Dr. Fulvia Lo Schiavo, Superintendent for the Bene Archeologici della Toscana, with
Director Greg Warden. At center, Sara Bon-Harper with Mugello Archaeological Inspector Luca Fedeli.


Sara Bon-Harper studying scarps in Trench PC 28 on Poggio Colla.


Left to right: Courtney Brasher and Gretchen Meyers with Rita Kirk, Nancy Kress, and
Nina Flournoy of SMU's Communications Division and the SMU in London Program.


Ceramics experts Jenifer Neils and Ann Steiner.


Architect Jess Galloway surveying on Poggio Colla.


Greg Warden leads a reading discussion with SMU students.


Etruscan column base specialist Cinzia Rampazzo measures
one of the column bases excavated on Poggio Colla.


Greg Warden studying finds in the magazzino.


Jess Galloway and Greg Warden study the site plan.


Greg Warden discusses the Podere Funghi during trench tours.


Students and staff gather around Trench PF 7 for a final trench tour.


Special Page